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Fieldwork Experience in Rikers Island!

Rikers Island's East River Academy is a NYCDOE high school where adolescent inmates continue their high school education
by

Thomas Gonzalez

on 27 October 2012

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Transcript of Fieldwork Experience in Rikers Island!

Inmates at Rikers going to their GED or Regents
classes at East River Academy Introduction
My name is Thomas Gonzalez. This month I visited East River Academy at Rikers Island. By law, all students up until the age of 18 must attend school. Yes, even if the students are incarcerated! Interview with the ELA Teacher Mr. Shampkin has been teaching high school ELA for 6 years at East River Academy.

Some difficulties teaching incarcerated students is that most feel there is no hope in education.

Education is mainly frowned upon on most gang members who attend school at Rikers. Laptop computers for the teacher play a major role to control the SMART Board, which are located in each of the classrooms at East River Academy. The computers are housed in a steal locked box recessed inside of the wall in each classroom. Internet user names and passwords must be entered in order to get online.

This ensures that the NYCDOE can monitor each staff member's internet use

An on site computer technician is housed in the school floor to ensure all computers in the building are working properly. Laptop Carts in the Classroom

Upon request, students can use laptops for school projects and for any other curricular goals outlined by the teacher.

Students have an assigned number which corresponds with the number on the laptop for student accountability. Improvements ERA does not have a functioning computer lab in its facility. Administration is afraid the inmates will deface and destruct the technology.

ERA does not have staff development as to how to work the SMART Board and create effective lessons. Teachers who come into the school with prior knowledge are the ones who succeed in teaching literacy via this technology. Connections to Class
Mr. Shampkin's lesson had many components connected to our class. He used the technology to engage students who would normally never participate in a standard lecture.

He used the interaction of the SMART Board for informal assessments to check if the students met the objectives. Conclusion
ERA is not a typical classroom setting, which made my visits interesting.

I was impressed how Mr. Shampkin got the students engaged in the lesson. He did this by using the SMART Board during his mini lesson. His independent practice activity was also done with one group doing an activity on the SMART.

Each day, he rotates groups to interact with the smart board during independent practice.
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